Donald Geary, Frankie Posillico and Austin Balko each scored twice and the El Paso Rhinos beat the Boulder Bison going away, 10-2.
The Rhinos force a decisive Game Three in the best-of-three series after losing Game One, 3-2.
El Paso scored the opening goal on the power play as Timothy Avegard wristed Anthony Knuth\’s pass top shelf past Boulder goaltender Mathieu Laberge at 12:26 of the first period.
But the Bison answered a few minutes later, as Jordan Heffner scored a similar goal on a pass from Bobby Dominski at 16:01.
Again El Paso scored and again Boulder would answer, as Donald Geary\’s goal at 2:58 of the second period was followed by Ryan Gauthier just over two minutes later 5:16.
That would be all for the Bison, as the Rhinos had started to figure out Boulder\’s trapping defense. Pinning the puck high and not allowing El Paso any easy path through the neutral zone was the key to the Bison\’s win Friday. Saturday was a much different story.
The Rhinos avalanche began after defenseman Andrew Ketterer\’s seeing-eye shot made it all the way from above right circle past a screened-off Laberge at 7:39 of the second to make it 3-2, El Paso.
Nick Gualano made a perfect pass to Posillico, who deflected the puck in at 17:01 of the second.
And in the third period, Boulder could not find an answer the Rhinos won possession after possession, scoring goal after goal.
Geary\’s and Posillico\’s second goals were followed by Balko, defenseman Josh DeLoach, winger Ben Henne, then Balko again.
El Paso made its statement, but there is another game to play. Game Three of the Mid-West championship series is Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. MST with the winner moving on to face the Western Division champion in the Thorne Cup Finals and earning a trip to Marlborough, MA, for the Junior A Tier III national championship tournament.
For ticket and information, contact the Rhinos front office at 915/479.PUCK (7825), or go to www.elpasorhinos.com.